We share the joy of every couple getting pregnant at the very first IVF attempt. Statistically, however, most couples need several attempts. The renowned scientific group from IVI Valencia in Spain analysed their own data in order to determine the number of embryos needed to achieve a live birth:
(Garrido et al., Fertility and Sterility 2011)
The graph on the right underscores the massive connection between age and success rate. After transferring ten embryos, the probability for a baby is 70% in a woman under 35 years, 65% between 35 and 37 years, 60% between 38 and 40 years and only 30% beyond 40 years.
(Garrido et al., Fertility and Sterility 2012)
The same graph with donor eggs shows no connection to female age at all (Garrido et al., Fertility and Sterility 2012). This proves that it's only the woman's ovaries that are ageing, while the rest of the body is perfectly fit to carry a pregnancy until 45 or maybe 50 years of age.
Many patients are in doubt about their body already after one or two failed attempts. They wrongly assume that their bodies «did not accept» or even «rejected» the embryo(s). It is a fact that way too many tests for so-called implantation problems are carried out too early worldwide. The following graph in German shows that some testing should only be performed after having transferred six to ten embryos without success.
(Juan Garcia Velasco / Tin-Chiu Li, Annual meeting of ESHRE 2012, Istanbul, Turkey)
Probability of failure according to number of embryos transferred (left column). Red column = fresh cycles in women below 35 years of age, blue column = thawing cycles or fresh cycles in women over 40. Only if the percentage drops below 30%, one could assume an implantation problem.
Only hysteroscopy and laparoscopy with removal of obstacles to implantation (like fibroids, polyps and liquid-filled Fallopian tubes) are of proven success. Testing for blood clotting disorders and immunological problems is very controversial worldwide; let us counsel you.
The statistics above show that you should not doubt your body nor the medical team too early. Pick an IVF centre where you feel comfortable and go through a series of treatments without questioning every detail.